Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reading Was Always Fundamental...Part Four

In our fourth day of celebrating the intersection of books and movies, and the joy of reading, we find ourselves bemused by the sight of so many images of one very famous lady contemplating the written word. Pardon us for reading some design into this, but is it possible this was a visual attempt to make this most human of activities somehow more elegant, even fashionable? In any case, she's lovely...

Well, leave it to Audrey Hepburn to lend a simple white shift dress from Givenchy, a modified pith helmet and an apparent jungle setting something of an air of elegant erudition. Audrey is caught by the camera while absorbed in a small volume, sometime around 1960...perhaps it is William Henry Hudson's "Green Mansions", a 1904 novel that was made into one of A.H.'s lesser movies at the end of the fifties, (though I admit to a weakness for this one).

Audrey Hepburn, in the early years of her career, catching up on her reading in a hotel room, lending her gamine glamour to the act of reading a book. Since this was around the time that she took the theatrical world by storm with her "Gigi", could it be something by Colette?

While filming the charming if somewhat less than successful Green Mansions (1959), Audrey adopted a baby deer who appeared in the movie as her boon companion. The fawn was named Pippin (called "Ip"), and accompanied Ms. Hepburn everywhere, including to the grocery store, where she appears to be reading the ingredients on a package of Honey Graham that's a committed lexophile, no? Method actors never went this far, did they?  

Those pesky beauty regimens involving daily hair dressing sessions were no match for Audrey Hepburn's desire to read something useful while having her hair washed. It looks a bit like The Hollywood Reporter and whatever she is reading, it does not seem to be good news.


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